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Gophers Before Christmas 2008
Saturday 13 December 2008

Another December, another Christmas, another outing to see the Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo. For 2008 Charles, Josh, Paul, Felicity, Katie, Ben, and Tammy wandered around in the cold trying their best to get into the festive holiday mood. The evening went well and we even had a kid following us around for a while, which might be a cause for concern now that I think about it.

Afterwards we got dinner at IHOP before breaking up for the evening.

Attendees: Josh Gulch, Paul Arquette, Charles Meyer, Felicity Powers, Katie Mihaly, Ben Mazur, and Tammy Keupper.

It's cold out, but that has never stopped Paul because he's hardy.
Tammy and Charles both do polite society a grave injustice.
This is the first time Tammy decided to be caught dead with us outside of school. Her peers have never let her live it down.
Josh shouldn't be allowed to have a camera.
Sometimes Charles simply forgets which way is forward when he's walking.
Well look who finally showed up! Katie, Felicity, and Ben were not as prompt as the rest of us. For shame.
She knows that she was five minutes late. The pressing guilt wears Felicity down to a mere shadow of her former self.
Katie sticks a paper clip into Felicity's neck. The reboot is successful.
Charles is maybe not so good at the whole being sneaky thing.
Seconds later Ben had to fight the world's biggest polar bear in a bloody deathmatch.
There was this bird alone in a red room in its own little building, set off a distance from the rest of the trail behind a fence. It kept looking at us.
Philippe has conquered the penguin. He is five years old.
Felicity refuses to acknowledge the gorilla. Why won't Felicity acknowledge the gorilla?

Over there.

It's a chimp.
Tammy carried around a camera all night but I don't think she ever took a picture. How weird is that.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.
Katie's big puffy scarf is actually a clever ruse to cover up the vampire bites on her neck.
Okay, so I lied earlier. Tammy did take some pictures and she put them on the Facebook, but that doesn't mean I was wrong.
A momentary pause, a brief distraction wrought by pretty flashy blinky colors all over everything.
Lookit all these people lookin' at all've these trees. How 'bout that.
Talkin' about important things in front of the Carnivore Cafe.
All of the other trees are nice and all, but these are Felicity's. She thinks they're the best.
Everybody watching two sexy Macleay's Spectres (Extatosoma tiaratum) getting their wicked freak on.
Tammy found the saddest reindeer in the whole wide world.
The obligatory group photo, gathered around a Tyrannosaur skull which you can't really see.
Josh vs a T. rex.

Josh just gives up.
This kid was following us around for a while. We don't know if he actually had parents or if he was a zoo urchin.
The Tyrannosaurus rex skull.

It's a big 'un.
It's a fact that Paul has never taken an elephant seriously.

A crazed pachyderm could be chasing after him with intent to kill and Paul would merely shrug it off as a ridiculous thing of no concern.
Felicity takes elephants only moderately more seriously, but more for the hellephant terror trunks that they actually are.
If this were the old west, Charles would ride around on a bison while everyone else stuck to horses.
Yeah, Charles will try to ride pretty much everything.
Paul and Charles treated the penny funnel as if it were basically magic.

What an amazing contraption!
Looking manly in front of nature at its absolute toughest.
So Josh egged out of Charles the fact that there was a new lady in his life and the undeniable fact that she was completely obsessed with ducks (he denied it but was pretty obviously lying).

So here's Charles reaching for some ducks to show his appreciation for them, because Josh is like a god danged matchmaker all up in here.
Giving a little ducky love to the friendly waterfowl.
I call this one "Another Picture of Paul And Some Trees With Lights on Them."

It's art.
Oh, what's that? The late people are trailing the rest of the group.

That figures!
There's seventy miles of lighting and over one million bulbs to see!
Look, it's Josh again. I know this is what works for you in these galleries.
Leaving the zoo after about two and a half hours wandering around.

Apparently that was two and a quarter hours too long for Charles.
Leaving the zoo we were stopped at a red light while listening to the Humpty Dance. Charles' only recourse to a situation such as this is to headbang.
Nothing is ever fancy.
Only Felicity is in on the joke.
Have you ever smelled Felicity's hands? They smell like cookie dough, no matter what she touches or how hard she washes them.
Tammy's brain breaks. This is what happens when a maladjusted individual spends an evening with a group of unbalanced social misfits.
Sometimes Charles must be physically subdued. It is best to approach this with a complete emotional detachment.
Paul's ability to tolerate the lot of us reaches a breaking point and he bids us a good night before he begins screaming in backwards Latin.
Philippe takes a sip of iced tea. He is five years old.
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Engaged 8 October 2010 | Updated 16 November 2010